Are you a newbie or an experienced teacher? There are certain issues that you worry about from time to time in your career.
At the end of every holiday, teachers are always worried because they will be going back to school.
Like experienced teachers, new teachers are also worried because they will be teaching for the first time.
In this blog post, I am going to explore the various reasons why teachers are worried when it is time for them to go back to school. I will also suggest strategies to help you overcome your fears.
What Are Some Issues Teachers Worry About?
There are numerous things that teachers worry about at some point in their careers. In this section, I have provided 15 such issues that you would likely worry about, as a teacher. These are shown below:
1. Difficulty in Managing Students
Teachers always concern themselves about whether they will be able to manage the behavior of their students in the classroom. This is often the case when the new school year is about to begin. That is because teachers are going to meet new students.
Like experienced teachers, newbie teachers are going to meet and teach students for the first time, as main teachers, in their career.
You may also be worried that you will not be able to manage the behavior of the new students coming. As mentioned earlier, you are not alone. Do the following:
a. Be confident in your abilities to manage your new student’s behavior.
b. Be sure to prepare yourself ahead of time by planning some of the classroom management tools.
c. Get a mentor who is ready to help you when necessary.
2. Fear of Sucking at Teaching
Here, some teachers are worried they may not be able to teach well. That’s they feel they will suck at teaching.
This is normally one of the key worries of new teachers. They feel pressured when they are going to start the new school year as the main teacher.
If you feel that way, don’t worry it is normal. It does not only relate to teachers; it happens in every profession.
Nobody started with full confidence and perfect knowledge in teaching.
You will catch up with time. That’s, you will learn from your mistakes and failures. That is the most important thing to do.
Always reflect on your style, methods, and techniques of teaching. Doing that will help you identify points that are great and those that need improvement. Based on that, you will get better at your teaching abilities.
For example, I had similar worries when I was about to start my teaching career. But I was encouraged by a senior colleague, and I will always be grateful to her. I made mistakes and failed many times, but I always corrected them.
3. Your Students May Know More Than You
Many teachers often worry about the possibility of their students knowing more than them.
That thought is informed by the belief that if you are teaching a topic, you must be an expert in that. That should not be the case.
If you are one of those people, you need to know that nobody knows everything about a topic or course.
However, quality teaching need not be a show of how knowledgeable you are, as a teacher in the topic area.
It is about helping your students understand what it is you want them to know. It involves employing methods that are appropriate to help students learn effectively and efficiently.
It is about relating concepts to real-life experiences of your students to help them comprehend well.
Remember, if you forget or don’t know something in the process of teaching, refer to your teaching materials for help. Don’t pretend to know it.
Also, don’t argue or pick a bone with a student if he or she corrects your mistake. Deal with that professionally.
Finally, don’t be arrogant to feel or think that you know more than your students.
4. Worrying about students’ welfare
As teachers, it is right to worry about the welfare of your students. That’s because you care a lot about your students and their interests.
I have been there before. In my first year as a teacher, I was doing a bit of advocacy work for some of my students from their parents.
I have proposed many solutions and strategies for parents to implement to help their kids catch up with their friends.
Together, we have succeeded with some students, but we can’t just succeed with others. Due to several factors, we succeeded with others and failed woefully with others.
Now, I have realized that you can’t just get everyone at par in the classroom. You have to do your best and not just give up. Until you try on numerous occasions and fail, never give up.
I am a believer in destiny. Everyone and what awaits him or her. No number of efforts or worries will change their situations.
5. You May Make Mistakes
At the beginning of my career, I was always worried about making mistakes in class. For example, I was always concerned about making mistakes when managing students’ behavior.
Because of that, I was overwhelmed and stressed in the early days.
But I soon realized that I was wasting my time and energy. They say it’s human to err, and that applies to me too.
Regarding the content you are teaching, you can make mistakes too. Some may be embarrassing, others may not.
Whatever the situation, handle it professionally. If your students correct you, don’t take things personally.
Remember, you are not a superhuman. You can make mistakes, and it should not be a crime if someone corrects them for you.
6. You will Bore Your Students
7. Cultural Differences
8. Finding Enough Teaching Materials
Depending on your context, this will be a concern or not.
Some teachers constantly face problems finding adequate teaching materials to aid their work.
I also face this difficulty sometimes. It is frustrating to know that you can do better in delivering a lesson, but due to inadequate, insufficient, or even no teaching materials, but there is nothing you can do.
At the beginning of the 2021–2022 academic year, they told me of a person who left her teaching job because of a lack of teaching materials.
If you have the same concern, make do with what is available to you. Even though you might be stressed, you have to manage.
9. Motivating Unmotivated Students
10. Students Will not Listen to You
11. What to Do When Things Go Wrong
It is legitimate to be concerned about what you are going to do when things go wrong.
I know that sometimes things just go wrong and there is not much you can do.
But I will like you to also think of how you will feel if everything goes well and smoothly in the classroom.
From that, you should think of what to do or not do so that everything will go as planned for your lessons.
So, while you are thinking of what to do when things go wrong, you must equally be planning how to prevent things from going wrong.
When things do go wrong, you must be professional in dealing with them. Deal with them completely.
Don’t get partial solutions to problems in the classroom. When the issues are beyond your control or if you cannot solve them, don’t feel shy about asking for help.
Your colleagues will be willing to help you out in the event of difficulty. So, collaborate with appropriate persons to help you solve problems you can’t solve on your own.
12. How to Handle Troublesome Parents
13. How to Handle Special Needs Students
Sometimes you find some students who need special attention in your class. That can put a lot of responsibility on you.
For example, there are students with autism, ADHD, ADD, and others that you need to give special attention to.
The pressure and workload that come with that are what is scaring people about it.
If available, your assistant will always help you maintain them. But if you have no assistance, understand their situation and help them as such.
Remember, you are just a teacher and do not have the requisite qualifications to go beyond certain limits when dealing with special needs students.
If available, maintain contact with the school’s psychologist or guidance and counseling staff when managing special students.
14. Not Get Support from School Authorities
Teachers need their authorities’ support to perform their roles as expected of them.
It is because of this that most teachers worry about whether they will always get the support of their authorities when performing their jobs.
This fear is based on past experiences where teachers were left to their fates while doing their work.
This fear affects what the teachers do to help students learn adequately.
For example, a student got injured when playing with his friends, and his classroom teacher was sued for neglect of duty. In trying to solve the problem, the teacher did not get the best of support from the school’s authorities.
Due to that, she resigned from the school after the case was settled.
You require the support of your authorities to function effectively. But always try to work within your boundaries.
Follow your district education rules and those of your school. Avoid illegalities as much as possible.
15. The Fear of Being Overwhelmed
This is related to most of what has been stated in the preceding points. Teachers always worry about the pressure that comes with dealing with students.
You may also be worried about the workload and stress that you experience and feel when dealing with students.
I know it’s sometimes extremely difficult. But note that it is rewarding too.
Look or think about the good side of it. Think of the satisfaction you get when you see one of your old students do great things for his or her society.
Look at that and pick back your motivation to prepare for the beginning of the school year or semester.